‘So, what is the point of at recipe? A recipe is a teaching tool, a guide, a point of departure. You have to follow it exactly the first time you make the dish. But as you make it again and again, you will change it, you will massage it to fit your own taste, your own sense of aesthetic’.
Wise words from Jacque Pepin (author of La Techniques)! I wholeheartedly agree with his thoughts but my attitude towards following a recipe is not nearly as noble. I could say that my inability to follow a recipe stems from a desire to make the dish fit my own interpretations and tastes but it all really boils down to fact that when it comes to making new dishes I am incredibly impulsive.
Most of the time it starts off with me browsing Pinterest, coming across some droolworthy recipes and then deciding to have a go at them. More often than not in my eagerness I’ll even start mixing the ingredients together without checking that I have all that I need. This has lead to some yummy success (Jumbo Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins from Sally’s Baking Addiction turned into regular Blueberry and White Chocolate Muffins) and some interesting fails (Lamingtons the texture of rubber or truffles ending up as brown goo).
If it doesn’t look the same as the picture: Panic, if it doesn’t reach the correct consistency within the recommended time: Panic, if it doesn’t bake in time: Panic. For me following a recipe exactly is nothing but a big ol’ heap of stress! Not fun at all…
So when the mood strikes me I glance at the recipe, gather my ingredients, set my oven and get baking without a second glance. It’s just more fun!
And I always try to keep in mind this advice from Julia Child: ‘Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun’.
How are you with following recipes?
Do you like to stick by them or do your own thing?